November 30, 2015

toughest part blog


What is the hardest part of being a filmmaker?



Filmmaking isn’t easy. Even the most passionate, inspired filmmakers still have rough days, rough months. Let’s talk about what doesn’t get talked about enough.




Something I hear a lot on film sets (often from myself) is the phrase ‘happy with that’.  It’ll go something like this:

CREW: Are you happy with that take?

DIRECTOR: I like the performance,  I’m just not that happy with the timings,  we need more of a pause between A & B…

What we mean is ‘are you satisfied with the work?’, but we choose to link that to emotion, being happy. Of course it’s just a phrase, but I think it tells us something about how creatives get so emotionally invested in their work. The phrase implies that our happiness is conditional, that we won’t be happy unless the film is up to our standards.  It’s not uncommon for my mood to correlate strongly with how well I think a project is going, which might not be the healthiest lifestyle to lead.

Maybe the first step would be to stop saying “Are you happy with that?” “Yeah, I’m really happy with how it turned out” and instead say that “that looks good” or “great work, let’s move on”.  Might help remind us that we don’t have to let our work dictate our emotion.

What do you think?


This video right here is genius. Watch it:

THE GAP by Ira Glass from Daniel Sax on Vimeo.


A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on

Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.

  • Jakob Hovman

    In one of his last videos, Jay Bates quotes Mark Twain:

    “Continous improvement is better than delayed perfection”

    Hello Simon…Thank You for this video. Tough video… narrow subject… but broad honesty.

    I feel for you…The toughest part is the most sensitive…isn’t that something…?!

    This is how I do:

    I pretend I am employed by myself.

    I turn the cap, it says: Director…I turn it again, it now says worker and so on.

    Like you I look at me from the outside.

    Anything that does not easily translates this way, is a personal project.
    Another project in the making. That is why we say: “Kill your Darlings”.

    When we work , you have to rely on our craftmanship…the process.
    Not the end project…Or the idea.

    The end project relies on other peoples opinion. ..
    The Idea relies on earlier decisions…and on your training.

    A marathon is run…lamppost by lamppost.

    If I am Making a table, I have earlier decided, how many it will seat., If only as a guide in the shop.

    Ideas and alterations can go in to the next table.

    Iif you decide to change now, you have to go back to the beginning, and design again.

    Japnese saying: “Be not the goal…be not the arrow…be like the bowstring”.

  • Jeremy Christopher

    This sort of begs the question: When has preproduction really worked for the end result and what did you do to cover all of your bases?